California employers are subject to a head-spinning array of various COVID-19 leave obligations, including COVID-19 paid leave laws passed at the federal, state, and local levels. California’s COVID-19 paid leave law – COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (“SPSL”) – was renewed this March. We discussed the SPSL in detail in our previous issue of Compliance Matters.
The SPSL covers all employers with 26 or more employees. Employees are eligible for the paid leave if they are unable to work or telework due to one of the following reasons:
- The employee is subject to a quarantine or isolation period;
- The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
- The employee has an appointment to receive a COVID-19 vaccine;
- The employee is experiencing symptoms related to a COVID-19 vaccine;
- The employee is caring for a family member who is subject to quarantine or isolation order; or
- The employee is caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed or otherwise unavailable due to COVID-19.
In addition, the SPSL entitles employees to retroactive paid sick leave from January 1, 2021 and contains various other requirements related to payment amount, interaction with other leave entitlements, notice, and paystubs.
Fortunately, California’s Department of Industrial Relations (“DIR”) released some guidance to help employers navigate the new law. First, the DIR released a detailed FAQ explaining the SPSL and the various obligations imposed on employers. Additionally, the DIR published a poster explaining the law as well. Employers can satisfy their notice obligations by displaying the poster in a conspicuous place in the workplace and sending the poster via electronic means to employees who do not frequent the workplace.
Employers should refer to the FAQ frequently when handling COVID-19 sick pay issues as it provides quick answers to some of the most common questions. In addition, employers should immediately display the poster at the workplace and send it to all covered employees who do not frequent the workplace if they have not already done so.
We will continue to monitor major COVID-19 related developments that impact the workplace. If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this issue of Compliance Matters, please call your firm contact at 818-508-3700 or visit us online at www.brgslaw.com.
Richard S. Rosenberg
Katherine A. Hren
Charles H.W. Foster
Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt, LLP